Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen

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Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, educated locally and saw brief service in the French and Indian War. The Allen brothers were active land speculators and played a central role in this protracted territorial dispute.In 1770, Ethan Allen and Seth Warner formed the Green Mountain Boys, a group of rough-and-tumble frontiersmen who opposed settlers in their area with loyalties to New York. The governor of that colony reacted to Allen’s threats and intimidation by issuing a warrant for his arrest and posting a reward of ?150.Allen was always noted for his audacity. With that lucrative reward on his head, he made good on a boast by riding to a tavern in Albany, where he ordered and drank a bowl of punch in full public view. The local sheriff was summoned, but being well aware of Allen’s violent nature, allowed him to ride out of town unmolested.During the War of Independence, Allen emerged as a popular figure as a result of the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, an early American victory that provided a morale boost and artillery for the Patriot cause. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold shared the command and entered the fort together, where they subdued an enemy force of just two officers and 43 men without bloodshed.Later, Allen served under Philip Schuyler in Canada and was captured near Montreal in September 1775 in a needlessly risky assault. He was sent in chains to England for imprisonment, but was returned in a prisoner exchange in May 1778.Allen received a promotion and back pay from Congress, but immersed himself in the continuing territorial dispute rather than the war. This effort resulted in treason charges being brought against Allen, but the motivations were rooted in the Vermont land dispute and no further steps were taken against him.Vermont indeed became the 14th state, but not until 1791 — two years after Allen’s death.Ethan Allen also gained a measure of fame from his advocacy of Deism. In 1784, he published Reason the Only Oracle of Man, an explanation of his religious beliefs that drew heavily from the ideas of a liked-minded friend. Thomas Paine and Elihu Palmer later became more effective exponents of that religious viewpoint.The Ethan Allen Grave and Monument is located in the Green Mount Cemetery in historic Burlington, Vermont.

Ethan Allen - History

Ethan Allen, popularly known as the Founder of the State of Vermont, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on January 10, 1738. He was a flamboyant folk hero of Vermont, who organized Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolutionary War, and together with Colonel Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. Later while invading the British colony of Canada with Colonel John Brown, Allen was captured on September 1775, and was held as prisoner for two years in England and New York before finally being exchanged in 1778.

Back with the Patriots, he was immediately honored with the brevet rank of colonel in the Continental Army. He came back to Vermont and was given the honor of major general of Vermont. Allen, his family, friends and supporters made significant contribution to the early history of Vermont. Allen tried statehood for Vermont by petitioning the Continental Congress. After Congress denied permission, he directly negotiated with the British for Vermont and hence was accused immediately of treason. As an early inhabitants of Burlington, he settled well on his property at the Winooski River Intervale during his last years and died on February 12, 1789, two years before Vermont was finally admitted into the Union as its fourteenth state.

Like most other folk heroes, myths grew around him during and after his life in Vermont. In terms of history, it is difficult to get an accurate picture of Ethan Allen. There is no accurate portrait of him even in any of the museums. He was assumed to be over six feet tall, which was unusual at that time. He seemed to have a confrontational personality, yet attracted devoted and loyal followers. Like most other frontiersmen he was always independent, but uncharacteristically well-educated and articulate for an early settler in the north.

Early Life and the Green Mountain Boys

Allen, the farmer and later statesman of Connecticut, was an early explorer of the New Hampshire and Vermont region. He got involved in the “Hampshire Grants” dispute due to conflicting land claims made by New Hampshire and New York. The Governor of New Hampshire granted lands in this region without any clear authority. The King and the New York Governor started to confiscate the lands and subjected them to heavy New York fees.

Allen was the prime person to defend the New Hampshire Land Grants, he did it to secure his own land interests, and also of those settlers who migrated North from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Allen increasingly associated himself with the principles of democratic New England rather than with the wealthy landowner dominated New York. He initiated the proposal for complete independence for the region from Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, even before the Revolutionary War started.

In 1770, the New York Supreme Court declared the New Hampshire grants invalid and so the settlers under Colonel Ethan Allen formed a militia group called ‘Green Mountain Boys’ for defending and securing their property. Soon, Allen and his family started the Onion River Land Company and invested in the undervalued Hampshire lands. Allen’s vision and leadership provided Vermont with an identity of its own and a greater spirit of independence which stays to this day. Petty skirmishes with the Loyalists lead to more serious conflicts and finally Allen was declared outlaw by Governor George Clinton of New York in 1771.

Fort Ticonderoga and the Revolutionary War

By the spring of 1775, Allen was taking up more armed conflicts with the Loyalist army. He had no prior sanctions from the Patriot forces or the Congress and made many decisions on his own. Fort Ticonderoga is located at a very strategic area at the southern corner of Lake Champlain and was in British hands since 1763. The British were ill-equipped for war and had no idea that conflict had started at Concord and Lexington. Allen was the first one to recognize the significance of capturing Fort Ticonderoga and was preparing to do so, with his Green Mountain Boys, when Benedict Arnold was commissioned by the Massachusetts and Connecticut revolutionary councils to lead an attack. Since Green Mountain Boys refused to obey Arnold, Allen took charge along with Arnold as co-commander of the force. Early on May 10th, the fort was easily taken by the American Colonies, and its Chief was captured without a fight as the garrison of a mere fifty British men was totally surprised.

Ticonderoga was the first British Crown property captured by American forces and served as the source of the cannon for George Washington which drove the British forces away from Boston. Crown Point, another British fort just few miles to the north, was taken similarly without conflicts the following day. These two command points secured protection from the British to the north. The capture show cased Allen’s military skills and also exposed the unprepared Loyalist forces.

Montreal Attack and Capture

In June 1775, Allen had the command of the northern region of Lake Champlain, and successfully recruited Indians and other Canadians to prepare for a campaign to attack British Canada. He again never got a formal commission, and based on his own impulsive fashion, decided to attack the well-prepared and previously forewarned Montreal on September 25th. He took help from Colonel John Brown, but a second attack force under General Schuyler never arrived. Defeat was imminent, and his own men started deserting him. Allen was easily captured by the British, and sentenced as a traitor in England. The Green Mountain Boys was also integrated slowly into the American army elsewhere under Seth Warner and other commanders.

Prisoner of War

Allen’s struggles as a prisoner are documented in his own words in an action-packed book written some years later. He was put on board ill-equipped prison ships, where he suffered greatly. Once his status changed from traitor to prisoner-of-war, his treatment was better. At Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, he got even better treatment and during his return passage to America, the citizens of Cork in Ireland greeted him warmly. At Long Island, he spent some time on parole only to be imprisoned again for violating parole rules by wandering away on hearing the news of his son’s death. After two years in prison, his name was suggested for prisoner swap he had good time with the British officers on his last few days in prison. It is not clear whether he was approached to become a British spy, but his actions later never revealed such. Allen was finally repatriated during the spring of 1778 in exchange for the release of Colonel Archibald Campbell.

Vermont Politics

He returned to Vermont and was honored as the major general in the Vermont militia and became the commander of the armed forces of Vermont. He grew popular in Vermont Politics and later became a Judge on disputes over property owned by known Tories. He also made sure Vermont defended the Union’s northern border from any further British-Canadian attacks.

In September 1778, Allen petitioned the Continental Congress for the sake of Vermont’s statehood and to admit Vermont into the American Confederacy. When refused, he started negotiations directly with the British from 1780 to 1783 he was accused of treason for his actions. It is unclear what Allen’s motive was by contacting the British, but his ruse might have been to prevent the English from invading Vermont. Since the revolution had ended and peace returned, Allen’s conflicting ways of administration had less takers and his power center in Vermont started to decline.

Life in Vermont

During 1780’s, Allen’s influence on Vermont politics waned away. At Vermont, his family’s land assets started to multiply and being the first English speaking surveyors and explorers of north Vermont came in handy to usurp lands. Once peace returned, Allen spent time on creating a remarkable farm on the Winooski River at Burlington and indulged in a philosophical career. He wrote Reason, the Only Oracle of Man on his own, with some ideas from his American philosopher friend Thomas Young. Though the book financially failed, it expressed his personality as a free thinker with a spirit of independence. Meanwhile, New York started to support Vermont as a state of America. Allen continued to write pamphlets, letters and books in support of the Vermont cause.

Final Years at Vermont

Allen spent a tranquil life in his waning years. Along with his second wife, Fanny, he moved to a home on their property at the Burlington Intervale. Allen concentrated on farming and publishing, and died quietly in the year of 1789. Like his whole life, his death too is dogged with unanswered question – one legend has it that he suffered from stroke upon crossing the frozen lake, and another says he fell down from a sleigh in a drunken state. Either way, he never regained consciousness, and passed away the next day at his home.

Ethan Allen has a larger than life impact on Vermont and its frontier spirit. He influenced the earlier history of Vermont, and his independent way of thought still persists here. Ethan Allen is honored with a historic Allen site and his farmhouse in Burlington is open for visitors daily. Schoolchildren enrich their knowledge of history and cultures when they visit this site.

Ethan Allen dies

On February 12, 1789, Vermont Patriot Ethan Allen dies of a stroke at age 52 on his Winooski River homestead.

Allen is best remembered as the patriotic leader of the Green Mountain Boys, who took the British fort at Ticonderoga with Benedict Arnold in May 1775. He also had a varied career defending his land interests in the New Hampshire Grants (now part of Vermont) from any challenge. Allen, like Arnold, faced charges of treason he attempted to negotiate terms by which Vermont could rejoin the British empire in the early 1780s when New York blocked its acceptance as one of the United States.

Allen was the eldest of eight children born to Joseph and Mary Baker Allen in Connecticut. Joseph Allen was among a group of New Englanders who had acquired titles to land in what is now Vermont from the government of New Hampshire. When New York claimed the right to sell the same land and began to do so, Allen led the protest in defense of the New Hampshire Grants. When his father died in 1755, Ethan assumed the mantle of leadership, and led the Green Mountain Boys in guerrilla actions against New York landowners in Vermont. New Yorkers responded by issuing a warrant for his arrest and a reward of 򣄀 for anyone bringing him into custody.

Allen earned the title of Patriot by his actions at Ticonderoga. Although displeased with his colonial neighbors, Allen had no affection for the British. He and Arnold took Ticonderoga and seized the cannon that would allow the Patriots to drive the British from Boston before the 22 British troops stationed at the fort realized that they were at war with their colonies. Allen continued into Canada, where he was taken prisoner by the British in Montreal in August 1775. He was held for three years before being released in the colony he most despised, New York.

Ethan Allen

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Ethan Allen, (born January 21, 1738, Litchfield, Connecticut [U.S.]—died February 12, 1789, Burlington, Vermont, U.S.), soldier and frontiersman, leader of the Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution.

After fighting in the French and Indian War (1754–63), Allen settled in what is now Vermont. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, he raised his force of Green Mountain Boys (organized in 1770) and Connecticut troops and helped capture the British fort at Ticonderoga, New York (May 10, 1775). Later, as a volunteer in General Philip Schuyler’s forces, he conducted a foolhardy attempt to take Montreal (September 1775), in the course of which he was captured by the British and held prisoner until May 6, 1778. Congress gave Allen the brevet rank of colonel with back pay, but he did not serve in the war after his release. Instead, he devoted his time to local affairs in Vermont, especially working for separate statehood from New York. Failing to achieve this, he attempted to negotiate the annexation of Vermont to Canada.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.

Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1738. He bought land in the New Hampshire Grants in 1770. Allen and his cousin Remember Baker started the "Green Mountain Boys" to protect their land. Other settlers, called Yorkers, bought the same land from New York. The Green Mountain Boys and the Yorkers disagreed over who owned the land. In 1777, this land became Vermont.

In 1775, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga from British soldiers. Later that year, Allen tried to attack Montreal but was captured by British soldiers. He was held on a prison ship for three years during the Revolutionary War.

Ethan Allen and his family moved to Burlington in 1787. They farmed land along the Winooski River. Ethan Allen died in 1789.


Ethan Allen, later in life

Allen was finally released to General George Washington on May 14, 1778, after three years of imprisonment. He arrived at home on May 25, only to find that his closest brother Heman had died one week before, and his brother Zimri, who had been taking care of Allen’s family and farm, had died the spring after Allen’s imprisonment. Ethan was really hit hard by the news and had a lot of trouble coping with the loss of his two brothers and his son. A few weeks later he traveled to Bennington to check in with the American army. His visit was highly anticipated and he was met with all the glory and honor deserved by a war hero.

There he learned of the Declaration of Independence and The US Constitution. This relit the flame in Ethan, and he was excited to start working on politics again. He spent the last years of the Revolutionary War fighting the political side of things.

After his unhappy wife died in 1783, Allen married Fanny Montresor Brush Buchanan. Allen was very happy with Fanny. She took good care of him, and supported him in all of his passions. He was woven in with politics until the day he died on February 11, 1789. Fanny supported him in all of his politics and studies because it was what made him happy, and Allen died a happy man because he had a wife who loved and cared for him very much. Even though Allen did not get to spend very many years with Fanny, she was truly the love of his life.

Ethan Allen - American Statesman

Most people identify Ethan Allen with Vermont. But Allen was actually a product of the Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut, in the heart of the Tri-Corners region.

Ethan Allen was born in the village of Litchfield, Connecticut on January 10, 1738. He was the first child of Mary and Joseph Allen and they selected an ancient Hebrew name for him, meaning “strong.” The name was prophetic.

At the time of his birth, northwestern Connecticut was still frontier wilderness country. There were no roads. In the center of the region was an ancient glacial river, called the Housatonic by Native Americans. The terrain was hilly and covered with rocks left behind when the glaciers melted.

When Ethan was still a baby, the legislature opened up the area north of Litchfield to settlement. New townships were laid out on the east side of the Housatonic, called Cornwall and Canaan. Across the river to the west were the new townships of Sharon and Salisbury. To encourage settlement of this rugged country, the government auctioned off inexpensive “rights” to the land, on the condition that persons who bought the rights must start clearing the land quickly or forfeit the property.

Ethan’s parents bid on rights to two tracts of land in the township of Cornwall. They hoped to use one of the tracts to build a dwelling and barn and the other as “plow land” for planting grain.

Like most farming couples in the 18th century, Mary and Joseph Allen produced a large family to help with the chores. They named their eight children with biblical names: Ethan, Heman, Heber, Levi, Zimri, Ira, Lydia and Lucy. Thirteen years separated Ethan, the oldest, from the youngest, Ira, who was born in 1751. All of the children were spirited and full of fight. Ethan later referred to his younger brothers and sisters as the “Seven Devils.”

Joseph Allen had to clear the land he planned to use as fields for his cows and planting, cutting down the thick growth of trees and moving the rocks, which he used to build stone walls. The children helped as much as they could. Ethan, being the oldest, did the heaviest work, and – true to his name – soon grew into a strong, strapping, muscular youth. From roughhousing with his brothers he learned how to be quick with his fists and feet.

The Allen farm prospered, and Joseph began to have dreams for his family. His oldest son, Ethan, would go to Yale College, he decided, an ambitious goal for the son of a frontier farmer.

In order to prepare for college, Joseph arranged for Ethan, who was then 17, to go to Salisbury a few miles away to study with the Reverend Jonathan Lee, a Yale graduate, who was pastor of the Congregational Church in Salisbury and was highly respected as a man of learning. In those days, the Congregational minister was the most important person in each town.

Ethan had barely begun his studies with Jonathan Lee, however, when his father unexpectedly died on April 14, 1755 and Ethan had to return home to take charge of running the farm.

For the next six years, Ethan ran the Allen family farm in Cornwall. For Ethan it was an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills. He not only was responsible for the welfare of h is mother but also his seven unruly younger brothers and sisters. In 1757, when he was 19, Ethan responded to a call for men to go to the rescue of Fort William Henry at Lake George, which was under threat of attack by the French and their Indian allies in the struggle known as the French and Indian War. His period of service was short and he soon returned to resume his duties at the family farm.

The Salisbury Furnace

By the time he reached 23, in 1761, his younger brothers were able to take over the farm and Ethan decided to strike out on his own and try his hand as an entrepreneur.

When Ethan was at Salisbury he learned of the rich lode of iron ore that had been found there, an entire hill of almost pure hematite, virtually free of impurities. The iron deposit, called Ore Hill, had been divided into eight parts, each owned by different proprietors. One share was owned by two brothers in Canaan, where they operated two iron forges, Samuel and Elisha Forbes.

Ethan realized that there was a great opportunity awaiting the person who could build a charcoal blast furnace in Salisbury to melt the iron ore so it could be cast into useful products and into iron bars to be hammered in the forges.

Everything that was needed for a blast furnace was right there in Salisbury: a large lake fed by springs with a steady outflow of water that could operate a water wheel to produce compressed air a large supply of limestone that could be dug out of the hills at Lime Rock, midway between Cornwall and Salisbury hills covered with hardwood trees which could be harvested to make charcoal and finally, Ore Hill itself, with its fabulous lode of high quality iron ore.

Ethan fortunately met a man with a similar desire, Paul Hazeltine, who with his father and brothers operated several iron works in Eastern Massachusetts. Paul’s father, John, on hearing of the potential in Salisbury, committed himself to build a blast furnace if the necessary property and mineral rights could be obtained. Ethan promptly took care of this, working with the Forbes brothers, and in January 1762 the four men entered into a partnership to construct the furnace. For his contribution in making the arrangements and his continuing tie to the operation, Ethan received a one-eighth interest in the furnace.

Soon the furnace was in full operation, with a large crew of local workmen under Allen’s direction, producing potash kettles, pig iron and other needed products. (A section of one of the pieces of pig iron produced by Ethan Allen in 1764 was recently discovered buried not far from the furnace site, and is now on display in the Salisbury Cannon Museum.) The furnace continued in operation for over eighty years, until the year 1844, when it was torn down to make way for a factory producing pocket knives. During the American Revolution the furnace was operated by the Connecticut Committee on Safety to produce over 800 iron cannons. It was a major industrial installation for its time. Before long the section of Salisbury where the furnace was located became known as “Furnace Village”, a name which remained until 1846, when it was changed to Lakeville.

In 1765, Ethan Allen sold his interest in the Salisbury Furnace and invested in a lead mine in Northampton, Massachusetts. When that enterprise proved unsuccessful, he returned to Salisbury where he learned of land speculation opportunities further north in Vermont. Acquisition of Vermont land soon led to his becoming commander of the voluntary militia – the “Green Mountain Boys” – created to fight off rival land claimants coming over from New York.

Ethan Allen - History

Life At Fort Ethan Allen from 1933 to 1960

The 1930s and early 1940s were active years for the United States military. Our country was in the midst of a depression and a world war was on the way. Many men enlisted to help defend their country. Some of these men found themselves stationed at Fort Ethan Allen located in Colchester and Essex. When people picture life on the Fort they may imagine an isolated military base where fun and frivolity were out of the question. Life on Fort Ethan Allen was actually the opposite. The soldiers and families were able to enjoy many social events such as movies, concerts and dances. During the mid 1940s, the military declared the Fort inactive and within the next twenty years a new life would be brought to the Fort by civilians. Fort Ethan Allen was so much more than just a military base. It was a home for families and friends with many stories to be told.

In 1933 Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal marked a new and contributing role for Fort Ethan Allen. The Fort was made the headquarters for the Vermont Civilian Conservation Corps until 1938. Even though the Country was in the middle of a depression it did not stop the residents of the Fort from having a good time. Pearl Milisci who lived on the Fort during this period when her father was stationed there as a Noncommissioned Officer recalls sleigh rides with her friends during the brisk and snowy months of winter. When the warmer weather arrived they enjoyed horseback riding as well as many other sports. One could always try their luck at one of the slot machines in the Officer's Club while enjoying a drink with a friend. These happy days turned into months and then into years. The 1930s came to a close and as the old familiar era slipped away a new and unknown era crept in and with it came war.

The year was 1941 and it was bitter cold as hundreds of young men, mostly from Brooklyn, gazed upon their new home. Most were disappointed to be stationed at Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont. They were hoping for something more exciting like, Tokyo, for instance. Vincent D'Acuti was one of the young men who joined the guard that year. At the ripe age of fifteen D'Acuti felt ready to join the guard not because he had an overwhelming sense of pride for the stripes and stars but because he liked the red uniforms and medals. This opinion was very common among the young men from Brooklyn.

D'Acuti was not prepared for the bitter coldness of Vermont. When he first walked across the front lawn he thought it was a lake because of the ice. Some of the other men were not prepared for the harsh weather conditions either. Vincent Sessa is a friend of D'Acuti who recalls the trips to Underhill, where a 6,000 acre piece of land was used as a practice firing range. These trips would last several days, and at night the temperature would drop below zero. Each soldier was given one comforter and two blankets to keep warm during the night. Sessa and two of his buddies would huddle together and share so that they had six blankets and three comforters. One night the temperature fell to 28 degrees below zero. Their weapons froze and no one could sleep. The next day 90% of the men were hospitalized, mostly for frostbite.

While the men were on their trips to Underhill the women stayed at home. Gladys DeCesans put it the best when she said, "We stayed behind and raised hell." The social life of the women and children depended on the Fort activities. The only time the children left was to go to school. On the Fort they had movies, polo, baseball, football and pistol matches. During the warm months Sundays were reserved for a bandstand concert on the parade ground. The clubs were reserved for Privates and Officers. Non-commissioned Officers would not socialize with the lower ranks. Dances and movies were for the whole community.

On certain occasions women were allowed to visit the men in designated sitting rooms or barracks, but had to obey the nine o'clock curfew. Most dates took place at downtown bars or dances at the Memorial Auditorium in Burlington. Some of the boys from Brooklyn married local girls and stayed in close contact with both the Fort and each other. Mrs. DeCesans once commented, "When those boys got off the train, the Essex Junction boys lost their girlfriends."

The Fort was declared inactive in the year 1944 which meant many military families had to say goodbye to their home on Fort Ethan Allan. Instead it was used as a storage depot for equipment. The Federal Housing Authority also used part of the Fort for civilian residence. In 1951 the Fort was again taken over by the military but this time by the 134th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the Vermont Air National Guard and was renamed Fort Ethan Allen Air Force Base. Fort Ethan Allan Air Force Base remained active until 1960 in 1962 the surplus land was used for private commercial and residential use. Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont signed a contract in 1964 which gave them ownership to designated areas for educational purposes.

The stories that the men and women share of their life on Fort Ethan Allen is the real history of the Fort. Through their voices we see the fort as a family of close friends rather than an isolated military base. These are the people who gave Fort Ethan Allen a place in American history.

Jacobs,Sally. "More Than Memories: The Many Lives of Fort Ethan Allen." Vermonter 27 March. 1983:3-4.

Milisci,Pearl. Personal interview.10 Oct.1998.

Scagliotti,Lisa. "Fort Ethan Allen Boasts a Rich History." The Burlington Free Press 15 Sept.1991:43

Thinking about Ethan Allen Model 3027 Grandfather clock

I've been looking for a GF clock, now I see a Ethan Allen 3027 on Craigslist for less than $250. Don't know much about them, is this a quality clock and movement?

I also see Howard Miller clocks (e.g. 610-326) for slightly more, how do they compare?


Registered User


I've been looking for a GF clock, now I see a Ethan Allen 3027 on Craigslist for less than $250. Don't know much about them, is this a quality clock and movement?

I also see Howard Miller clocks (e.g. 610-326) for slightly more, how do they compare?

As Ethan Allen and Howard Miller are furniture makers, you should ask for pictures of the movement (especially the back of the movement) to see what movement maker provided the movement and, hopefully, be able to determine what year the movement was made. I suspect the movements will be modern. If you do not, you will just be purchasing a piece of furniture.

With the price of tall case clocks these days, you could purchase a fine antique tall case clock with a well made movement for the same price or close to the price you mentioned.


I've been looking for a GF clock, now I see a Ethan Allen 3027 on Craigslist for less than $250. Don't know much about them, is this a quality clock and movement?

I also see Howard Miller clocks (e.g. 610-326) for slightly more, how do they compare?

Why bother with a modern clock?

I agree with new2clocks. For not much more at auction (dealers still ask too much) or even on Craig’s list, you can acquire a real antique one, say an English or Scottish one, that will last > than another century rather than one with essentially a disposable movement and often good quality cabinetry and a pretty painted dial.

Elliott Wolin

I'm all for an antique GF clock, even one needing some work.

Can anyone recommend brand names to keep an eye out for?


I'm all for an antique GF clock, even one needing some work.

Can anyone recommend brand names to keep an eye out for?


Registered User

Lots of good choices out there. Do you want a name brand or something that you like the style of and don't care about maker? Do you like a particular style, or time period? Here are samples all under $200. All required a proper cleaning (tear down) and some tuning/repairs, so that must be considered if this is your first clock. It may cost more for that than you pay for the clock, so consider that when setting your budget. But newer doesn't mean it will not need the same work. There is really no comparison of a pre 1940s clock with a newer one for artistic quality (moon dial), cabinetry, movement and materials.

Good luck in your hunt and keep us posted.


Registered User

Compare this artwork from the above clocks with any modern clock.

Unless it is custom made, today's attempts are painfully pitiful and pathetic.


Registered User

Waltham movement: thick plates, precision machined wheels, maintaining power feature.

Again, no comparison with representative modern clocks.


I understand what gleber is saying. He provides some worthwhile information and advice. I'm not familiar with some of the "brands" he suggests. With all due respect, I would avoid the mission clocks he pictures. The movements nothing special.

To me, your question about "brand" is not really, well, pertinent.

For older tall case clocks, i.e., earlier 19th century and older, there is no "brand" to shop for. You're not buying a washing machine.

Certain makers do command higher prices. However, even the Willards did not always make the movements in their clocks. There are many fine tall case clocks that are unsigned. There are many tall case clocks, especially from the UK, where the maker is somewhat obscure or unlisted. Not a "brand" name, if you will, but still clocks worthwhile of consideration.

Late 19th - early 20th century clocks can be of high quality as gleber points out. Many have a retailer's name rather than that of the maker. So again, "brand" may not guide you well unless you can learn who made the movement. Another consideration is that quite a few clocks of this period may be rather large. If that's your choice, you better have some space including the ceiling height. That said, they may be impressive pieces of furniture. Some have tubular chimes and sound wonderful.

I will toss in that there are some later 20th century tall case and "grandmother" clocks of decent quality. Clocks of one such maker that comes to mind are those by the late Elmer Stennis of E. Weymouth, MA. A very colorful character. You should google his name to learn his incredible story and how he came to meet his Maker. Amongst his output were tall case and grandmother clocks. The cases are of good quality. He also used Howard movements in some of his clocks (IMCO, avoid those with the later German movements he used those, too). Be prepared to spend a bit as his better clocks bring some $.

I would change the way you're thinking about this. There are a number of things to consider including what do you want to spend, what style of clock fits your taste and space and so on.

Many genuinely antique tall case clocks come up at auctions. These days, they can be quite reasonable. Beware that many are marriages and monkeyed with. Honestly, my sense is that probably doesn't matter much to you. The goal is an attractive functioning clock. And that's just fine. If originality is important, you may want to buy from a reputable dealer OR have someone knowledgeable vette your purchase, especially if you're going to spend some real money.

Ethan Allen (1738 – 1789)

American Revolutionary, born in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Allen spent a considerable portion of his life in the effort to achieve independence for what is now Vermont, commanding (1770-1775) an irregular force called the Green Mountain Boys, so named in defiance of the New York threat to drive Vermont settlers off the fields and “into the Green Mountains.” The “Yorkers” at one point put a bounty on Allen’s head, to which he responded by offering his own bounty on the officials involved.

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) he and Colonel Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga in the first colonial victory of the war, notwithstanding the fact that they basically knocked on the door, walked in and took over. The fort was neither well maintained nor well guarded at the time (there were only 22 British troops stationed there), and the garrison had no idea that hostilities had broken out in Lexington and Concord.

To this day some controversy exists over who actually led the expedition to take Ticonderoga. Benedict Arnold claimed command on authority of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. When the Green Mountain Boys objected and threatened to leave rather than serve under anyone but Allen, the two colonels worked out an agreement (though no documentation exists as to the exact nature of the terms). Some historians have supported Arnold’s contention, while others suggest he was merely allowed to march next to Allen. As for the actual taking of the Fort, Arnold was alone with Allen and 83 of the Green Mountain Boys on the New York side of Lake Champlain, making it fairly easy to figure out who was really in charge.

Allen would soon attempt a badly planned, poorly executed assault on Montreal which would result in his being imprisoned by the British and thus removed from further participation in the Revolution.

Allen was no military genius, rather an overbearing, loud-mouthed braggart. He was also a staunch patriot who apparently did not know the meaning of fear. More importantly, he had the loyalty of the Green Mountain Boys, as unruly a bunch of roughnecks as any in history. He could control them better than anyone else, and they would follow him anywhere. George Washington would write of Allen, “There is an original something about him that commands attention.” The Reverend Nathan Perkins, on the other hand, wrote in his diary, “Arrived at Onion River falls (present-day Winooski) and passed by Ethan Allyn’s grave. An awful infidel, one of [the] wickedest Men [that] ever walked this guilty globe. I stopped and looked at his grave with a pious horror.” A grain of salt might be in order: during and after brief visits, Perkins had quite a bit to say about Vermont and its inhabitants, little of it positive.

After the war, Allen settled down on a farm in the north end of Burlington (portions of which are today a park and a museum, including his modest homestead) and continued the campaign for Vermont statehood, a goal which was not to be achieved during his lifetime. On February 11, 1789, he traveled to what is now South Herowith one of his workers to visit his cousin, Ebenezer Allen, and to collect a load of hay (a little over seven miles as the crow flies, more than half of which was on the ice of Lake Champlain). After an evening with friends and acquaintances, he spent the night, setting out for home the next morning. Accounts of the return journey are not entirely consistent Allen apparently suffered an apoplectic fit en route, and was unconscious by the time they arrived home. He died some hours later without regaining consciousness.

For all his faults and despite his having done but one significant thing in the Revolution, Vermonters are proud of him his very name evokes the essence of independence.

The monument marking Ethan Allen’s grave and other sources record him as having demanded the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.” The problem is that he would not have been inclined to invoke either.

Watch the video: Έρημα Κορμιά. Θαν. Παπακωνσταντίνου - Μ. Κανά - Μάλαμας @ θεατρο Πέτρας 2015


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